We were up early on Friday 9th September and it was a bitter sweet morning; Captain Caveman was pouring away rum (crikey) because we couldn’t take it on our flight at 4.40pm! It was a Friday so I did my measurements only to find I’d increased between 0.5cm (calves) and 4cm (hips) everywhere, except for reducing my bust by 1cm. That wasn’t great news but still we went down for our included breakfast at the Ibis hotel. Captain Caveman was feeling rough after drinking too much IPA last night and we were meeting Ingrid for brunch in Rotterdam so I made a sandwich and took a gluten free cracker for my hotel breakfast takeaway. Captain Caveman hardly ate anything and I just had a piece of ginger cake with butter and some fruit juice. As we were leaving the dining area, me with a sandwich in a serviette in my grasp, the receptionist told us the manager wanted to have a chat with us. I thought I was going to get told off for stealing sandwiches! The manager came out and told us there had been a mistake when we checked in and that the breakfast wasn’t included at all. If we had known that, we wouldn’t have bothered paying for it but Captain Caveman seemed not to be functioning well at all and agreed to pay the €36 extra when we checked out.
Captain Caveman was still rather unwell when we arrived at Bake & Moore to meet Ingrid, who was already waiting for us.
Ingrid and I ordered an English scone (with jam and cream) and a croissant each, on account of Queen Elizabeth II dying yesterday. It was the appropriate thing to do given that we heard the news while we were living it up in FoodHallen, in Rotterdam.
If Captain Caveman could have called in dead he probably would have and, as my friend and I chatted away, we kept seeing that he looked extremely peaky.
Ingrid kindly gave us a lift to Rotterdam station where we had booked the Flixbus, because today there was a train strike. We said goodbyes while holding back tears and hoped it wouldn’t be as long until we met up again.
After being dropped off at Rotterdam station by Ingrid, we sheltered inside as the rain was coming a bit heavy and it was quite cold. Only Captain Caveman had brought a long sleeved top and coat, I hadn’t but had lent the blue top which was of course too big for me. As we waited for the Flixbus I needed the toilet and decided to try to find one, at the same time as another customer. We were both helped by a member of the Flixbus team who said it was her bus to Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam, and she would wait for us while popped in to Subway, the sandwich shop. As we left Rotterdam, Amsterdam airport bound, the rain poured and it was a little bit sad that this part of our trip had come to an end.
When we got to the airport it was a bit weird. As warned by our friends, the airport was overcrowded and understaffed. Walkways had been constructed to push the queues of people back out of the building then back in via a serpentine route. There were signs up to tell us how long it would be to the front and so I got my sandwiches out. It was organised chaos, I will give them that, and I’ve certainly been in worse airports but we noted we may try an alternative next time. We only just had enough time for Captain Caveman to visit Duty Free and for me to eat my remaining croissant with jam and cream.
When we got to the gate our flight to Athens was delayed but we didn’t really know what was going on. As we were boarding it was also chaos and we had to stand on the air-bridge for too long. Our transit time in Athens was only 1.5 hours and that was how delayed we were. We were a bit disappointed that we would not land in time to board our next flight to Rhodes but, as Captain Caveman pointed out, the airline would have to sort out some overnight accommodation for us.
I decided to relax and let our hotel know we were delayed once we arrived in Athens. We had red wine and a gluten free sandwich for our inflight meal with Aegean Airlines, then Captain Caveman had a snooze.
We were now due to land in Athens at 22.05 and our next flight should take off at 22.20.
There were 4 of us to get on that flight to Rhodes so they held it for us. One passenger feigned illness to get off the first flight before everyone else but we still got on the same bus to the main building, where she was absolutely fine.
We got on the flight, I messaged our hotel to say we were on our way but 1.5 hours late.